The third seeded Kearsarge boys tennis team faced off against the sixth seeded Portsmouth Christian Academy tennis team for the quarter-finals of the division three NHIAA boys state tennis tournament Tuesday night.
The Cougars had beaten Portsmouth Christian Academy 5 to 4 earlier in the season so Kearsarge knew this was not going to be an easy match to win. The cougars fifth ranked singles player Matt Hubley won his match first by a score of 8 to 0 to give the cougars an early one nothing lead. Then Kearsarge’s No. 1 and 2 ranked singles players lost which put Kearsarge in a bit of a hole down 2 to 1.
But their third, fourth and sixth ranked players were able to secure wins to give the Cougars a 4 to 2 lead going into doubles plays. These wins came from Kearsarge’s Jack Van Etten, Charlie O’Connor, and Sam Williamson. Kearsarge’s first ranked doubles team would lose a hard fought match which allowed PCA to inch closer at 4 to 3.
It would come down to the second and third ranked doubles matches in which Kearsarge needed just one of the two wins in order to get the deciding fifth point. Kearsarge captain Jack Van Etten and Charlie O’Connor felt the pressure at number 2 doubles as they were down 2 to 5 at one point but remained calm as they were able to battle back to eventually win the match 8-6 to give Kearsarge the overall victory.
This win proved to be crucial as Portsmouth Christian Academy was able to win the third doubles match 8 to 6 for a final score of 5 to 4. Both teams played very well overall and sportsmanship was on display from both sides.
This year’s team from Portsmouth Christian Academy is the first in its schools history to make the state playoffs while Kearsarge improved drastically from last season when they missed the playoffs entirely with an impressive record this year of 12 and 2. Kearsarge moves on to the semi-finals where they face off against No. 7 ranked Inter-Lakes Thursday at 4pm.